Short Stories

Published in MURDER PAST, MURDER PRESENT, edited by R.Barri Flowers and Jan Grape; ISBN-13: 978-1-60619-206-1.

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Cassie Ann Cloud is having a pond behind her house dredged for reclamation of lead when a human skull is found in the sifter.  A senior Vermont woman, she faces old and new secrets, either of which, if revealed, could mean the wearing of prison garb for life. 

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I was squatted down putting leaves in the paper sack when I heard the quick crash of grass and twigs and then felt the whole weight of B.B. Burden land on me and roll me onto my side.  I struggled and yelled.  He told me I might as well shut up because no one would come. 

Wrenching me flat, he sat on my middle, then grabbed my wrists and rubbed them back and forth on the dirt until they burned. Then he brought them together over my head, and with his free hand he undid his pants and yanked them down. I couldn’t imagine what he was doing that for, so ignorant was I. “Put your pants on,” I said. “What the heck are you doing?”

His face came down to me and I smelled his awful breath and knew then that he was trying to kiss me. I wiggled my head all over the place, but he managed to get his grainy plug of a tongue deep into my mouth. I gagged. And then … it was natural … I bit.

He hammered both sides of my face and dropped a good one on my left eye. I managed to roll over, push off with my forearms, and drive the back of my head upward to connect somewhere on his face. Then I scrambled and ran.